12 of the Best World Cup Adverts
The Super Bowl is the most-watched television event in the USA thanks in part to the highly anticipated adverts that play during the numerous breaks in play. This year, our friends across the pond were very keen on a dog that liked a horse and Radio Shack's 1980s tribute.
Commercialism has not seeped into the beautiful game quite that much (yet), but as the 2014 World Cup draw nearer, we will see more and more ads themed around the tournament.
In fact, there have already been a few, such as the Chilean beer clip that leads this list of some of the best World Cup adverts.
Cristal Beer's Dutch Terror (2014)
Not long after the 2014 World Cup groups were announced, Chilean beer peddlers and official national team sponsors Cristal tried to make their loyal customers believe that Group B opponents the Netherlands were terrified by their presence.
In reality, the Dutch are probably a little more worried about having Spain in their group.
Dodge Motors' War Cry (2010)
In the build up to the 2010 World Cup, where the USA faced England, Dodge put out a jingoistic advert that appealed to fans of both hugely inefficient, badly made muscle cars and the outcome of the Revolutionary War.
Nike Write the Future (2010)
Rather than extol the virtues of their sports apparel in one 30-second spot, Nike used the entire three-minute ad break for their epic "Write The Future" campaign during the 2010 World Cup.
In it, a selection of international stars decide their destiny with their performances on the field, with timelines that see Cristiano Ronaldo star in his own movie, Ronaldinho inspiring a Workout DVD and Wayne Rooney living in a caravan. Probably only one of those things could actually happen.
Adidas' 'Footballitis' (2002)
As the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan approached, the good folks at Adidas enlightened us to the worrying epidemic of "Footballitis," which apparently causes extremely famous professional players to believe they are always playing the beautiful game.
Sadly, no cure has been found, but there is always hope...
Pepsi's Oktoberfest (2006)
Before they headed to Germany for the 2006 World Cup, a selection of the world's best players (and Frank Lampard) played against a troupe of Lederhosen-clad Bavarians in a beer hall.
However, as this was an advertisement for Pepsi, it was brown sugar water rather than cold steins of ale being served.
The locals win, but David Beckham removes his shirt...so everybody wins?
TyC Sports' Argentinian Passion (2010)
Here's one you may not have seen from the build up to the 2010 World Cup.
Broadcast in Argentina by sports network Torneos y Competencias (TyC), it starts with locals explaining the quirks of other footballing nations, before revealing the quirks of its own.
Funnily enough, handling the ball to score a goal isn't considered a quirk worth mentioning.
Coca-Cola's Billy Joel Riff (2006)
Here's another very amusing Argentinian World Cup commercial, which played during the 2006 tournament to raise awareness of Coca-Cola.
It's a reworking of the Billy Joel classic "We Didn't Start The Fire," with the arbitrary list of things in the original replaced by people and inanimate objects who will be following the Albiceleste.
Apparently, this one was tailored and re-cut for several different Spanish-speaking countries.
Carlsberg's Team Talks
Carlsberg have a long track record of brilliant adverts, based mainly upon their "If Carlsberg did X, they'd probably be the best X in the world" conceit.
Their 2010 World Cup clip was based around a rousing team talk featuring English sporting heroes, including Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Clive Woodward, Dame Kelly Holmes, James Hunt and many more.
If you are English and you don't have a lump in your throat by the time it says "Do it for Bobby," you're probably made of stone.
Sony's Retirement Home (2010)
Sony's 2010 World Cup effort saw former Three Lions bosses Graham Taylor and Terry Venables as residents in a retirement home, with Nurse Kelly Brook and handyman Stuart Pearce looking after them.
When their magnificent widescreen television is wheeled in to watch the game, Kenny Dalglish steals the laughs with his pro-USA chants.
Umbro's Extreme Cruelty (2002)
We are not saying this is the best World Cup commercial, nor are we condoning animal mistreatment. We simply want to bring this 2002 Umbro clip to your attention because it is amazing that it ever got the green light to be made.
Inevitably, it was banned.
Heineken's Walk-in Fridge (2010)
Not to be outdone by continental beer rivals Carlsberg, Heineken have made some funny football ads in their time.
This one aired in the Netherlands before the 2010 World Cup. It does nothing to break down gender stereotypes, but it is amusing all the same.
Nike at the Airport (1998)
Let's be honest: This isn't just the greatest World Cup-theme ad, it's the greatest ad in general.
If anyone behaved like this at an actual airport, they would get a one-way ticket to police custody, but watching Brazil's 1998 World Cup squad entertain themselves while waiting for their plane is an absolute delight.
The ad became so iconic that it even had a Sugar Puffs parody, with the Honey Monster bungling his way through an airport in Selecao yellow.
Sadly, it doesn't appear to be on YouTube!